Just three days after filmmaker Simon Klose started a fundraiser to complete his upcoming Pirate Bay documentary, the seed funding goal of $25,000 has already been reached. The Pirate audience has been extremely generous, with a full 27 days left the counter currently sits at $28,099.
There are tens of thousands of people out there receiving letters from lawyers which demand payments to make potential copyright infringement lawsuits go away. Those wrongfully accused have been fighting back in a number of ways, and not without success. Now a team of lawyers is offering to coordinate a group action, with the aim of gathering compensation for victims through harassment claims.
Nicely timed at the start of the new college year, a new BitTorrent site dedicated to sharing knowledge in the form of textbooks has surfaced. Torrent My Book – a project run by two college students – aims to become the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, following in the footsteps of the late TextBookTorrents.
Another day, another anti-piracy campaign. This one, from the MPA and AFACT-backed Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation, is trying a slightly different approach. Instead of accusing people outright of being movie and TV show pirates, it cuts them some slack and treats them like children instead. It seems that some people just don’t know they are pirates.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘The Expendables’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Salt’. ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’ completes the top three.
In recent months thousands of US BitTorrent users have been sued for allegedly having shared movies such as The Hurt Locker and Far Cry. Because the settlement amount proposed by the copyright holders is less than hiring a defense lawyer, many defendants have not sought legal representation. Acknowledging this injustice, attorney Graham Syfert is now offering a cheap solution to the problem.
A lot has been written about the UK’s controversial Digital Economy Act, which passed in April in the last days of Gordon Brown’s government. What there has been a lack of, however, is facts and guides about the Act, an omission which the UK Pirate Party has attempted to solve.
A company that worked with sites that linked to copies of Hollywood blockbusters has become the target of a new lawsuit. The legal action filed by Disney and Warner Bros. says that Triton Media was guilty of both contributory and inducement of copyright infringement when it assisted several sites with advertising and referrals.
The EU election last June was a surprise for many, as the Piratpartiet got a seat with over 7% of the votes. Then when the Lisbon Treaty passed and they were awarded a second seat in the European Parliament. However, it wasn’t without drawbacks as the second seat has yet to be filled. That may happen soon.
TPB-AFK, the upcoming documentary about The Pirate Bay and its founders, is expected to be released during the fall of 2011. To complete the project, Swedish filmmaker Simon Klose is starting a campaign tomorrow through which he hopes to crowdsource the funding. True to BitTorrent’s nature, peers are asked to contribute to the project.
A critical Windows DLL vulnerability that makes several widely used programs targets for remote hijacks surfaced in the news this week. Among the affected applications are Firefox, Adobe Photoshop and uTorrent. Since the news broke dozens of exploits have already surfaced. Luckily uTorrent was one of the first to fix the vulnerability and now all users are encouraged to update their client.
Last month the judge in the case of Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum versus four of the world’s most powerful music labels decided that his original $675,000 penalty was unconstitutional. Even though the jury-awarded damages were subsequently reduced by 90%, Tenenbaum is clear – he has no means to pay the amount. As expected the case will go to appeal, as neither he nor the RIAA are happy.
The founder of the small software company Coding Robots was shocked when he found out that one of his works had been cracked and shared on The Pirate Bay. However, instead of asking The Pirate Bay to remove the torrent the company’s founder did quite the opposite. He sent a ‘Notice of Ridiculous Activity’ because the crack didn’t live up to his expectations.
For as long as Internet file-sharing has been considered a problem, copyright holders and their respective anti-piracy groups have been mobilizing with campaigns they hope can reduce the phenomenon. Despite the efforts, downloading continues unabated. Against the law? One in four in Denmark certainly don’t.
The Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology is directly connected to the Iranian Government. Aside from evaluating and advising policy makers on science and technology issues, the largest research outfit in the country also provides a warez server where Photoshop, MS Office and many other applications can be downloaded for free, totally legal thanks to Iran’s lenient copyright policy.
With an interesting addition to its survey of customer hardware, Valve has now published its first set of stats detailing which software is installed on the computers of those using its Steam client. While Flash, Acrobat and Firefox dominate the listings, BitTorrent clients also make a significant appearance. uTorrent is installed on almost as many systems as iTunes.
A law firm that says it has made more than £1 million by sending threatening ‘pay or else’ letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK, will now face a disciplinary tribunal. ACS:Law, believed to be the most complained about law firm in its field, has been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. This is the second time in front of the tribunal for principal Andrew Crossley.
A few days ago the uTorrent team updated the 3.0 release with several privacy features. Due to some unfortunate wording, the new feature caused confusion among users. One of the new options, “do not share your IP with peers”, led some to believe that uTorrent had implemented a new feature that makes BitTorrent transfers anonymous.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Salt’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’. ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ completes the top three.
In a few months TorrentFreak turns five, and leading up to that milestone we will occasionally look back at how the BitTorrent landscape has changed over the years. Although there is no doubt that BitTorrent has more than quintupled its user base since 2005, there have been only a handful of sites serving a large slice of the masses.
The booming popularity of e-book readers has added a new focus to the piracy debate. As with MP3s in the late 90s, and video and movie files during the last decade, the technology to read digital books has become mainstream. What does this mean for the print industry and book publishers?
After huge FBI busts in 2004, paranoia in secret piracy circles was riding high. A year later and even the general public were becoming attracted to this shadowy and uncertain world. Following primitive attempts to dramatize the piracy scene in 2005, an award-winning short film has just received its online premiere, combining movie piracy, risk-taking, paranoia and sex to reach its target audience.
Global Gaming Factory’s planned acquisition of The Pirate Bay last summer surprised BitTorrent’s friends and foes alike. Eventually the deal didn’t go through due to financial problems, but after a few months of silence the company’s CEO returns to the stage. This time around there’s a new target for his ambitious plans, Demonoid, the largest semi-private BitTorrent community.
This Wednesday a security blog reported that several rogue sites are in operation which aim to pull in people who were aiming to reach The Pirate Bay, but accidentally entered the URL with typos. While this kind of activity is nothing new, there is a more interesting detail being overlooked. One of the companies behind the scheme is trying to register the Pirate Bay trademark in the United States.
Last month the Amsterdam Court confirmed an earlier judgment and ordered The Pirate Bay to cease all of their activities in The Netherlands. Despite denials of current connections to the site, the founders face penalties of 50,000 euros per day for non-compliance. Today BREIN boss Tim Kuik physically tracked down Peter Sunde in Europe, explained the verdict and had their encounter filmed.
With anti-piracy outfits and dubious law-firms policing BitTorrent swarms at an increasing rate, many Bittorrent users are looking for ways to hide their identities from the outside world. To accommodate this demand we’ll give an overview of 5 widely used privacy services.
In May this year the BitTorrent Inc. added a section to their site which enabled the community to vote for new features they would like to see included in uTorrent. Voting has been furious and dozens of new tweaks and additions have been made. Here’s the next eight major additions uTorrent users can look forward to.
Adult entertainment and piracy go hand in hand, so to speak. While some players in the industry use legal tools to bring piracy to a halt, others are not bothered about unauthorized sharing. In a recent video interview the CEO of one of the largest porn distributors said that the more people pirate his company’s work, the better.
During his visit to the the Swedish capital Stockholm, Wikileaks spokesman Julian Assange struck a deal with the local Pirate Party. The Party, which participates in the national elections next month, will host several new Wikileaks servers to protect the freedom of the press and help the whistleblower site to carry out its operation.
An unfinished copy of the upcoming Vampires Suck movie has been making the rounds on BitTorrent recently. Despite’s efforts from Fox to prevent people from taking a sneak peak at this upcoming Twilight parody, a leaked and possibly unfinished workprint version has been downloaded tens of thousands of times already.
Following in the footsteps of The Pirate Bay and the successful BitTorrent distribution platform Vodo, uTorrent has now embraced an artist of their own. Starting today, all new uTorrent downloads will be bundled with the latest album from PAZ, an up and coming musician who hopes to achieve stardom through BitTorrent.
While Bitsnoop may not have the profile of The Pirate Bay, make no mistake, this site is a major BitTorrent player. The site indexes more than 8 million torrents linking to roughly 9 petabytes of data. In the last few days Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN began threatening the site with the clear aim of bringing its activities to an end.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Centurion’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Ong Bak 3′. ‘Salt’ completes the top three.
The file-sharing, copyright and piracy debate continues to burn just as aggressively today as it did with the dawn of Napster. When compared to the seemingly endless wars of words over religion, however, it’s only just begun, but the opposing sides in both debates seem equally polarized. So, for an argument that will probably never end, let’s bring them both together.
Pirate Bay co-founder and former spokesperson Peter Sunde gave a talk at the Campus Party 2010, where he went over the site’s history and how it became the number one enemy of Hollywood and the music industry. Aside from reminiscing about some classic pranks and the famous raid on The Pirate Bay’s servers, Peter said that he hoped the site would be soon replaced by something better, as it really sucks.
A man has been charged with fraud and copyright offenses after being accused of camcording several Hollywood flicks, including the Jennifer Aniston movie The Bounty Hunter. Unlike other countries around the world, recording a movie in a theater is not specifically illegal in the UK so considering the serious nature of the charges, why is this man facing a potential jail sentence?
The Czech private television station TV Prima has been caught hosting pirated episodes of the TV-series Fringe on their web server. If that wasn’t awkward enough, Fringe does air in the Czech Republic, but on a competing TV station.
A recent Net Neutrality proposal from Google and Verizon has dominated the news this week, with opponents claiming that the deal would kill Net Neutrality on wireless (cellular) networks. What hasn’t been mentioned thus far, however, is that BitTorrent and other types of evil traffic have already been banned for years by Verizon, AT&T and others.
An anti-piracy group has caused a storm of controversy by taking down movies it has no rights to. GVU successfully ordered video hosting site Vimeo to take down several Creative Commons videos created by a freelance journalist and an independent filmmaker. The anti-piracy tracking company hired by GVU claims that its technology failed.
KickassTorrents, one of the fastest growing and most visited torrent sites on the Internet, has been pulled offline after an inquiry from the Ukrainian authorities. The site’s main server was shut down and the site’s founder and his team are currently setting up shop outside the country. KickassTorrents is expected to return in a few days, TorrentFreak was told.
Werner Müller, boss of the Austrian film and music industry trade association, has canceled his participation in a panel discussion on “Art in the Digital Age” after he learned that Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde was one of his fellow participants. Müller stated that he refuses to sit at a table with a “convicted criminal” who supports “professional theft”.
In a very rare event, a Chinese anti-piracy group says it will sue several websites and companies for their involvement in film piracy in the country. As it teams up with the studio behind the recent martial arts hit Ip Man 2, not only will web portals and Internet cafes be sued, but one of China’s biggest file-sharing link sites, VeryCD.
Last month a large private BitTorrent tracker became the first site of its type to be hit by Hurt Locker-style mass litigation. Now, just three weeks later, the same studio has returned there for a second time, gathering IP addresses on the site and filing suit against dozens of users a mere three days after.
Take.fm is a new movie torrent indexer that is a step above the plain old torrent indexes most BitTorrent users have become used to. The site, which only lists verified and high quality releases, combines a pleasant and great looking user interface with all the functionality needed to find the best films.
With hundreds of thousands of unauthorized downloads, StarCraft 2 is the most pirated game of 2010 thus far. Although Blizzard Entertainment is probably not too excited by this honorary title, the company also benefits from BitTorrent. In fact, StarCraft 2 is probably the most legally downloaded game on BitTorrent too.
This weekend the operators of BitTorrent site TorrentReactor announced they had bought a Russian village and renamed it after themselves. As the site is known for its earlier pranks the news was rightly taken with a grain of salt, but despite reports that the scheme needs presidential approval it seems the villagers are still really quite warm to the idea and are welcoming the prospect of investment.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Tekken’ tops the chart this week, followed by ‘Sex and the City 2′. ‘Salt’ completes the top three.
After years of doing comparatively little to protect copyright, in recent months authorities in Bulgaria came down hard on file-sharing sites. While two of the country’s biggest BitTorrent sites continue to function, the previous owner of one – Zamunda.net – will face court this year charged with crimes against copyright. The authorities are hoping for Pirate Bay-style levels of punishment.
TorrentReactor, listed among the five most popular torrent sites on the Internet, has surprised friends and foes by acquiring a small town in central Russia. The town formerly known as Gar has reportedly been bought for the equivalent of $148,000 and was quickly renamed after the Russian-based torrent site.
After an epic journey through the legal system, much of it shrouded in secrecy, an anti-piracy group has finally tracked down an individual it said uploaded a first-run movie. In the end the IP address evidence didn’t identify the correct person, a confession did. But were there ulterior motives behind this witch hunt?
BitTorrent Inc. has released a new App for uTorrent that allows users to find out what others people are saying about a torrent they’re downloading. Users can also join the discussion and use uTorrent to tweet about torrents. With the new App, BitTorrent Inc. hopes to streamline discussions about torrents on Twitter, and encourage torrent sites to adopt the new standard to make it a success.
The Vuze team has released version 4.5 of the popular BitTorrent client. With this latest release users can easily optimize their settings based on an elaborate speed test, which should increase download speeds in many cases. In addition, users can now transcode, transfer, and playback downloaded files on many of the most popular Android phones.
The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which allows for large fines and six month Internet suspensions, has already passed its first reading in the New Zealand Parliament. However, according to copyright advocates, it doesn’t go far enough. Instead of simply disconnecting repeat infringers, they are calling for a heavier punishment that would take people’s right to Internet access away.
After an earlier ruling went in iiNet’s favor, the ISP and the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft were back in Federal Court for the fourth straight day of the appeal today. AFACT, representing many Hollywood studios, argued that Internet subscribers should be held accountable not just for their own infringements, but for those carried out by anyone using their account.
In 2007 the Pirate Bay crew resurrected the legendary BitTorrent site Suprnova.org, which had shut down due to legal pressure three years earlier. The legend returned, but due to a combination of circumstances it remained just a shadow of what it once was. This week, The Pirate Bay crew returned the domain to its former owner who now has big plans for the site.
It’s the third day in Federal Court for the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and ISP iiNet. As they continue to pick over the ruling handed down several months ago by Judge Cowdroy, the Court wonders if the appeal will actually solve the copyright infringement dispute between the sides.
Most content producers only see the dark side of piracy but every now and then we encounter a rare exception. Jeff Vogel, president and head programmer for Spiderweb Software, admits that piracy is not an absolute evil. Sometimes it’s actually OK to pirate his games, and he explains why.
Early 2010, a Swedish court banned Pirate Bay co-founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij from operating the site. Last month, the site’s former spokesperson Peter Sunde was also banned and faces a heavy fine for non-compliance. He has now appealed that decision, with his lawyer describing the court ruling as “political gagging”.
Yesterday the Federal Court saw the return of two old rivals, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft and ISP iiNet. The pair were there to fight the appeal of the decision handed down several months ago by Judge Cowdroy and today, on day two of the hearing, iiNet lawyer Richard Cobden began setting down the ISP’s case.
The top 10 most downloaded movies on BitTorrent, ‘Sex and the City 2′ tops the chart for the second week in row, followed by ‘Operation Endgame’. ‘The Ghost Writer’ completes the top three.
Today the Swedish Pirate Party has published its election manifesto for the upcoming elections that will take place in September. With more experience than during their first run in 2006, the Pirate Party hopes to secure several seats in Parliament by focusing on issues surrounding privacy, culture and knowledge. Foremost, non-commercial file-sharing should be legalized and encouraged.
Six months ago Aussie ISP iiNet celebrated following its legal victory against the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft. Now the pair are back in Federal Court for the appeal, where AFACT hopes to show that iiNet acted illegally when it refused to take action against customers who file-shared movies and TV shows using BitTorrent.
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On the eve of the iPhone 4 jailbreak by the iPhone Dev Team, and with the recent positive rulings over jailbreaking’s legality, concerns over the purpose and impact of opening Apple’s line of iOS devices still exist. Dissident from Hackulous explains why he believes piracy does not ruin the image of jailbreaking, and gives insight into the real effects piracy has on application developers.
In 2007 Radiohead sent a shockwave through the music industry by allowing fans to download their new ‘self-released’ album ‘In Rainbows’ for whatever price they wanted to pay, including nothing. Fast-forward three years and the RIAA and IFPI are sending takedown notices to people who share that album online. What happened?
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